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Folders in a website

Description of the folders in a FrontPage /Expression Web website


In the following table comments shown in teal apply to FrontPage only, maroon to Expression Web only. All other comments apply equally to Expression Web and FrontPage, though only FrontPage may be mentioned.

Before looking at the Folders in a website, there are two files located in the root folder worth noting:

  • Files

    • _vti_inf.html

      Purpose
      Contains configuration information for FrontPage extensions.
      Comments

       Always present in a FrontPage extended website. The absence of this file is a test for checking whether the extensions are installed or not - no file=no extensions. Unfortunately the converse is not always true - if the extensions have been removed or are broken, the file may still be present.

      A sample of this file, as used on a Windows server, is here.

      Status

      Always hidden in FrontPage and Expression Web in sites running on a server when opened as disc based or with HTTP. May be visible in FTP clients or Expression Web if the site is opened with FTP - though using FTP may break the extensions.

      Not usually present in disc based web sites, or sites published with FTP.

    • postinfo.html

      Purpose
      Contains configuration information for FrontPage extensions.
      Comments

      Usually, but not always, present in a FrontPage extended website.

      This file is used by Office programs (Publisher, Word etc.) for publishing documents to a web site, whereas FrontPage and expression Web will use _vti_inf.html.

      A sample of this file, as used on a Windows server, is here.

      Status

      Always hidden in FrontPage and Expression Web in sites running on a server when opened as disc based or with HTTP. May be visible in FTP clients or Expression Web if the site is opened with FTP - though using FTP may break the extensions.

      Not usually present in disc based web sites, or sites published with FTP.

  • Folders

    • The root folder

      Contains
      Home page and other files and folders
      Comments
      This folder shows the name of the website in FrontPage, and contains all the files and folders contained in the website.
      Typically, it is not named "root"
    • _borders

      Contains
      Shared border files -
      left.htm
      right.htm
      top.htm
      bottom.htm
      Comments
      Also contains the border files used in a discussion web:
      disc1_aftr.htm
      disc1_ahdr.htm
      disc1_foot.htm
      disc1_head.htm
      Status
      Normally hidden in FrontPage, but can be made visible
      File Extensions
      .htm
    • _derived

      Contains
      Images used by themed sites for buttons and banners.

      Templates for the FrontPage Search webbot, when used with a Windows server and Index Service


      Copies of files checked out when using FrontPage "Document Check in and check out"
      Comments
      This folder will never be seen in FrontPage, regardless of the "Show hidden folders and files" setting.
      Expression Web may show this folder (and its contents) in the Publish screen when using FTP to publish. The folder is always hidden in Folders View, and the Folders List.
      Status
      Always hidden in FrontPage. Usually hidden, but sometimes shows in Expression Web.
      File Extensions
      .gif
      .htx
    • _fpclass

      Contains
      For FrontPage98, Java class files for Hover Buttons and Banner Ad Manager.

      ASP include files for Database wizards.

      Code-behind files for asp.Net pages produced by FrontPage.
      Comments
      Java class files are stored in the root folder in FP2002 and later.
      Status
      Normally hidden in FrontPage, but can be made visible
      File Extensions
      .ascx
      .class
      .cs
      .inc
      .incs
    • _overlay

      Contains
      Text overlay images for themed buttons and banners
      Comments
      These images are merged with images in the _themes folder to produce buttons and banners stored in the _derived folder when FrontPage link bars are used with a theme.
      Status
      Normally hidden in FrontPage, but can be made visible
      File Extensions
      .gif
    • _private

      Contains
      Hit counter files
      Form results files
      Comments
      Permissions are set to:
      • Require authorisation to access contents
      • or Deny access to all users (unless already logged on to the server)
      Status
      Always visible in FrontPage
      File Extensions
      .cnt
      .txt
      .csv
    • _themes

      Contains
      One folder for each theme in use, which in turn contain the images and CSS files used for the theme
      Status
      Normally hidden in FrontPage, but can be made visible
      File Extensions
      .gif
      .jpg
      .css
      .inf
    • _vti*

      Contains
      Data used by the FrontPage extensions, and meta data in disc based websites.
      Comments

      See below for _vti_bin and _vti_cnf

      Do not edit the contents. Do not publish to another site.
      FrontPage and Expression Web never publish _vti* folders or their contents, whether using FTP or the FP extensions to publish.

      Status
      Always hidden in FrontPage.
      File Extensions
      various
    • _vti_bin

      Contains
      CGI programs for processing forms, hit counter, facilitating HTTP publishing and controlling authorisation (userid, password)
      Comments
      This folder is referenced by forms using the FrontPage extensions, and by the FrontPage Hit counter, but is a virtual directory - it is not actually in the website.
      In a default installation of Windows XP Pro or Windows Server 2003, the folder is located at:
      C:/Program Files/Common Files/Microsoft Shared/Web Server Extensions/50/bin/
      Status
      Always hidden in FrontPage and Expression Web, and not accessible from either program.
      File Extensions
      .exe
      .dll
    • _vti_cnf

      Contains
      Meta data relating to files in the parent folder
      Comments

      Every folder (except some folders with names beggining _vti_) contains a _vti_cnf folder. Do not edit the contents. Do not publish to another site.

      The _vti_cnf folder contains text files that have the same names and extensions as the corresponding files in the parent folder. This can (and does) confuse FTP programs and results in FPextensions being corrupted when FTP is used.

      Status
      Always hidden in FrontPage.
      File Extensions
      various
    • Thicket Folders

      Thicket folders take names of the form pagename_files

      Contains
      Resource files such as images used by the page pagename.xxx where "xxx" can be any page extension such as htm, html, asp etc.
      Comments
      Thicket folders are automatically created for pages produced in Ms Office programs (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Publisher) and saved as HTML, or for pages using VML graphics. See Thickets and VML Graphics for more information.
      Status
      Never visible in Frontpage or Expression Web V1 and V2.Expression Web V3 and V4 usually hide Thicket folders, but they may be visible during publishing.
      File Extensions
      .xml
      .gif
      .jpg
      .txt
    • fpdb

      Contains
      Access Databases
      Comments
      Permissions are set to make a database readable and writeable by ASP pages, but not readable by anyone browsing the web.
      Status
      Visible and editable in FrontPage
      File Extensions
      .mdb
    • images

      Contains
      A repository intended for images and graphics, but there are no rules that images must be placed here.
      Comments
      Always present in a FrontPage web, but does not have to be used. There is no limitation on the type of file that can be stored here.
      File Extensions
      normally:
      .gif
      .jpg
      .png
    • subweb (FrontPage) or subsite (Expression Web)

      Contains
      A complete, self contained, website within a website. Subwebs/sites contain the same folder structure as the root web, and may include further subwebs/sites.
      Comments

      Can have any name not commencing with _underline

      A subweb is a folder that FrontPage treats as a different website. Folders that are subwebs are designated by a folder icon with a green globe. Contents of subwebs will be ignored by FrontPage until the subweb is opened in a new instance of FrontPage.

      Subwebs can only exist in disc-based web sites (hidden meta data must be used in Expression Web) or FrontPage extended sites.

      Status
      Always visible in FrontPage
      File Extensions
      Any extensions.
    • Other Folders

      Contain
      Files and folders as designated by the user
      Comments
      There is no limitation on the type of file that can be stored in these folders.
      Status
      Folders with names beginning with _ (underline) will be hidden, but can be made visible.
      File Extensions
      any extensions